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Dungeon Crawl Classics #68: People of the Pit $6.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #68: People of the Pit
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #68: People of the Pit
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2012 09:12:37
This adventure is intended for a big bunch (about 8-10) of 1st-level characters, and its recommended that a good spread of classes/races participate. It is likely that not all of them will survive - unless they are both skillful and lucky! So, what horrors do they have to face? Well, I'm not telling! Suffice to say that an ancient evil has arisen... and that tentacles are involved.

Legends tell of how a vast monster that lives in a massive canyon awakens once a generation, and how in centuries past a cleric deduced that sacrificing a few local virgins would assauge its hunger, allowing it to return to its slumbers without ravaging the whole countryside. Naturally, the characters happen along just as it begins to stir and worse... some strange grey-robed figures have been seen associated with the tentacles, worshippers of the beast, perhaps even able to control it. This is all public knowledge, but it is left to the GM to decide how to reveal it and get the characters to take action.

After a run-down on the nature and organisation of the cult for the GM's eyes, we move on to the action, which begins with the characters standing high above the canyon on the mournful spot where sacrificial virgins were chained in years gone by. They will have to find a way down into the mist-filled pit wherein the monster dwells, doing battle with its cultists and eventually the creature itself. Keen observation and caution is advised... and of course there are other monsters to combat on the way.

This adventure is quite cinematic, and redolent of the sort of escapade Conan the Barbarian might have. Characters will need to think as well as wield sword and spell to good effect if they are to accomplish their goal. The GM is supplied with copious notes on what the characters will see, as well as how all those they encounter will react, enabling him to concentrate on running the adventure and building the atmosphere rather than checking the rules or making up descriptions. The final scene is climatic and dramatic and has the potential to inspire many a bard! Well up to the standard being set for this game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #68: People of the Pit
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/12/2012 00:43:53
Remember first level? You went into a dungeon, stabbed a few kobolds, went into another area, killed a few goblins, went somewhere else, slew some orcs, went to another place, attacked some skeletons, got their treasure, and finally did something (like slay hobgoblins) at second.

DCC isn't that.

"Now a decade has passed since the last sacrifice, and the rumbles of the pit-beast can once more be heard deep in the pit. This time, though, there is another factor. People have emerged from the pit, herding great slithering tentacles before them. These people of the pit wear gray robes and have no faces. The local peasants have chased the robed men away on numerous occasions, and now the humble folk around the ravine fear for their safety. It was enough to fear the beast of the pit, now must they fear the people of the pit as well? You have set out to explore the great ravine in search of mystery, adventure, riches, and fameā€”and perhaps to aid your neighbors along the way." -- from the Player Beginning

Spoilers ahead.

If the core book's "Portal Under the Stars" was a trap-encrusted killfest, "People of the Pit" is a refugee from Queen of the Demonweb Pits and Shrine of Kuo-Toa (and better organized, too). While Pit may not be campaign-sized large, your poor players certainly didn't take them on at first level!

And, like, Portal, Pit is sufficiently deadly. If your figher insists on running down the slick stairs, he could fall to the pit floor before meeting anyone. And when you do enter combat, those grey-robed cultists have the audacity to have these tentacled things burst out of them when they die. Oh, and if they're in an area where tentacles are nearby they can summon them to do their bidding (like grab characters and toss them screaming into the pit). And that's just the first encounter.

The adventure sticks to theme yet provides an assortment of enemies, magical traps, mundane ones, and a few Things to Run Away From. The adventure has method behind its madness. Smarter characters will proceed cautiously and use the shortcuts to their objective. Others will find themselves shocked, teleported, cursed, turned to stone, sliced open, and screaming a hentailike death. Thoughtfully, the adventure has plenty of 0-level captives who can replace fallen members, and more 0-level captives to replace the previous ones. And, yes, the trope-ic Indiana Jones finale has a beautiful babe about to be sacrificed to the pit.

If there's any criticism of the adventure, it's that it's not just for 1st level characters! DCC is about not knowing what you're up against, and the stats (and shortcuts) can certainly be adjusted for higher level parties. And you may want to make the Control Tentacle spell easier to access by the spellcasters, if only to roll on the corruption table!

I'm pleasantly please with the People from the Pit. Just makes you wonder what will happen at *second* level.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #68: People of the Pit
Publisher: Goodman Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/03/2012 20:41:42
I've long been a fan of Cthulhu Mythos in my Fantasy RPG gaming. It keeps players honest ;) The creature that is the main event in People of the Pit is certainly mythos inspired, and that is a good thing, as it is pulled of perfectly.

DCC #68 breaks with recent tradition, as it is 32 pages long (30 pages after front and back cover are removed from the count) and I can easily see this taking a session and a half or even two to complete. You do get a nice amount of gaming for your investment.

I'm trying to think of what I can say about People of the Pit without giving too much away. Lets see, there are deformed cultists, there are some new creatures for the PCs to kill (or be killed by), there is the tentacled beast on the cover (I think the cover fails to covey the actual terror this tentacle beast is). Oh, and a TPK is certainly possible. I don't want to say likely, but more likely than the previous adventures in the series or in the DCC RPG book. It will certainly weed out the men from the boys. Or women from the girls.

There are some player handouts. I loves me some player handouts. I'm waiting for a DCC adventure with a players handout booklet like the old Tomb of Horrors. There, my suggestion. I'll take credit for it when someone runs with the idea ;)

If I have one complaint, its the art. As far as I can tell, there are no prints available for any of it! It's not like I'm going to print a piece of with my inkjet and hang it on my wall. I want professional art prints damn it! The player's handout for area 4-9 NEEDS to be a print. The maps need to be available in prints. Joseph, how many peasants do I have to sacrifice to the Funnel before we can get some of this art work available as prints?

Did I mention it is a fully bookmarked PDF? Well done.

People of the Pit is a 1st Level Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG adventure. It's a great piece to put your funnel survivors through from DCC #67 - Sailors on the Starless Sea. Well, so long as they aren't too worried about surviving to level 2 ;)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #68: People of the Pit
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Anthony R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2012 14:02:49
The Basics

The module is 32 pages if you include the front and back cover. I counted eight interior illustrations, one handout and three maps in the same 'artistic' style as the maps for the adventures in the core rulebook. The PDF is fully bookmarked.

Summary

The People of the Pit is designed for a party of 1st level characters. The adventure involves a pit, dark cultists and tentacles. I don't want to say more in a spoiler free review. The dungeon consists of more than 50 encounter areas spread out over four levels. The dungeon is a 'living' dungeon with a rationale (in fantasy RPG terms at least) provided for the contents and inhabitants of each room.

The dungeon does include a few traps and secret doors but not so many as to be annoying. There is also one puzzle that is designed to challenge player and not character skill (and looks like it should be fun). There are several clever touches in the module, including a unique method of traveling from level to level that could possibly allow the PCs to skip most of the dungeon and end up at the end encounter! (which could prove deadly)

The writing of the module seems solid to me and I was able to comprehend what was going on in each encounter area with the first read through. I haven't found any errata yet. The People of the Pit looks like it should be a blast and I can't wait to run it for a group. And where else can you go swimming in a pool of pit-beast poop?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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